Recover Alaska kicks off 2023 with a challenge to stay sober

Recover Alaska kicks off 2023 with a challenge to stay sober
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 8:03 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The new year presents many people with resolutions or promises they make to better themselves, and one such event is known as “Dry January,” a challenge to not consume alcohol.

In downtown Anchorage, some Alaskans are jumping on this challenge for 2023 — or for an overall lifestyle change — to enjoy the nightlife environment without the booze. Recover Alaska, a statewide action group working to reduce the harmful impacts of alcohol abuse, is hosting a series of fun nights out this month for those who want to celebrate without drinking.

“Dry January has been gaining popularity over the years, last year, one in three adults participated in Dry January, and for a lot of folks it’s just a nice time to reset, recalibrate — a lot of people are thinking about New Year’s resolutions,” Tiffany Hall, the Executive Director of Recover Alaska, said.

For those individuals who want to make a change this year, this pop-up bar offers an exclusive menu with various non-alcoholic drinks and wellness shots — all during a game of trivia. During the winter months in Alaska, when it’s dark and cold, it can be especially easy to get lonely or fall into bad habits, but this event is meant to help.

“It’s a tough time, and easy to turn to things like alcohol as a coping mechanism, so we really want to encourage people to find healthier coping mechanisms,” Hall said.

For those in recovery, or just trying sobriety for the first time, it is an environment that’s designed to be social, casual, fun, and alcohol-free, according to Mike Jipping, who is bartending for the event.

“There’s the demographic of people who consider themselves sober curious, and then there’s also people who are recovering from some sort of addiction, and in this case alcohol, this is a way to connect with people and support groups,” Jipping said.

Hall said it’s all in an effort to see Alaskans living free from the consequences of alcohol misuse and to be empowered to achieve their full potential.

“Hopefully it will just help people open up their eyes, you know,” Hall said. “Our society has such a cultural norm around alcohol and thinking that we need alcohol to be involved all the time, but that’s just not the case.”

For those that missed this week’s Dry January sober lounge, it will be open each Thursday throughout January from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Historic Anchorage Hotel bar.